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Simcha Groffman

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Parashas Toldos

Supernatural Redemption

"Abba, there is so much tsorus (trouble) in the Jewish world."

"Yes, there is, Avi."

"What can we do about it?"

"That is precisely the subject of the seventh brocho of the Amida, Avi. It is called the blessing of 'geula' - salvation from the troubles of golus (exile)."

"Is it referring to personal salvation or the redemption of the nation as a whole?"

"That is a discussion amongst the meforshim, Avi. Rashiii Gemora Megillah 17b states that bracha is not referring to the redemption from golus, rather the deliverance from the trials and agonies of everyday life. The Ohr HaChama elaborates that each one of us is like a captive of his personal tsorus. For this, we come to request a speedy geula, even if the time of the complete geula has not arrived yet. The other meforshim explain that this bracha is requesting the complete geula speedily in our days."


"Yes, we are all hoping and praying for it. The source of the wording of the bracha is traced back to the golus Mitzrayim. When the Mitzrim made our ancestor's lives bitter with cruel bondage, Hashem said to Yisrael, 'And I will redeem you' (Shemos 6:6). Immediately the heavenly angels said, 'Boruch Atto Hashem, Goel Yisrael (Blessed are You Hashem, the Redeemer of Yisrael).'"iii Shibolei HaLeket as cited in Shaar HaRachamim

"Abba, Hashem has promised many times that He will redeem us. Why do we need to pray for it three times a day?"

"Excellent question, Avi. I know of three answers. Firstly, let us examine the source of the golus, and indeed all tsorus - our aveyros. Our sins require punishment, and so Hashem allows the nations of the world to afflict us. However, they heap on much more suffering then we deserve, as the verse states, 'I became slightly angered, and they increased the evil' (Zechariah 1:15). Therefore, we beseech Hashem, 'Behold our affliction' - we have already received more than enough anguish for our sins. 'Defend our cause' - for they have taken more than their share from us. 'And redeem us speedily' - for our suffering is intense. 'For Your Name's sake' - Your Holy Name is desecrated when Your chosen nation is exiled among the nations. 'For You are a powerful Redeemer' - You can change the laws of nature, as You did in Mitzrayim, to redeem us before the appointed time."iiii Maggid Tsedek, Eitz Yosef

"I see, Abba. We are asking Hashem to bring the geula quickly before its natural time, because we have already suffered enough for our sins."

"Precisely, Avi. The second interpretation of this request is that the geula should come with nachas (pleasantly) and not with tsar (painfully), so that we can continue our engrossment in Your Torah and mitzvos, which will save us from sin. Additionally we pray that You do this for the sake of Your Name - the holy Shechina.iiv Otzer Ha'Tefillos

"Lastly, Rav Yonason Eibushitz, in his sefer Yaaros Devash, illuminates this blessing with his deep peirush. When praying for the geula, our primary request is that the kedusha (holiness) of Hashem's Great Name (by which Klal Yisrael is called) should not be desecrated amongst the nations of the world. Our greatest joy from the geula will be that the world's nations will see that Hashem alone is the King of the entire universe, and that the G-d of Yisrael is eternal truth. 'And redeem us speedily for Your Name's sake.' Although we are not worthy, the Almighty can end the golus supernaturally, which is no more difficult for Him than following the natural laws. Nature runs according to din (strict judgment). Miracles, which overturn nature, are performed with rachamim (mercy). 'Elokim' - Hashem's middah (character trait) of din has the gematria (numeric value) of 86, the same as 'hateva' (the nature). Teva is the outcome of din. When the Almighty operates according to din, He follows the laws of teva. When He acts with infinite mercy, not enforcing the strict letter of law, the result is a miracle that overrides teva. The splitting of the sea was supernatural - He appeared as a strong warrior. We pray that Hashem mercifully redeem us with a strong hand, supernaturally. If He would use the middah of din, we would not be worthy of redemption. That is the meaning of the words, 'For You are a powerful Redeemer' - You have the strength to act supernaturally."

"That sounds very similar to the first answer, Abba."

"It is, Avi. However, Rav Yonason adds on a completely different peirush. Hashem redeems us daily. Every day is a 'time of tsora for Yaakov', as the seventy nations are ready and waiting to destroy us. Yet the All Merciful One saves us form their hands. Therefore, the brocho was fixed in the present tense, because He redeems, delivers, and saves today. As we stand before Hashem in tefillah, we have to realize that now is a 'time of tsora for Yaakov'. Many are vying to try to destroy us. How can we not pray with tears and a broken heart? When we see that the day has passed and our enemies' plans have not been carried out, we should rejoice! Hashem heard our prayers and answered us! Thank Him for what He has done, and pray for tomorrow, for every day is fraught with the same dangers."

"That is so inspiring, Abba! You have motivated me to contemplate and pray for Hashem's salvation both on a personal and national level, present and future."

"May your prayers be answered."


Kinderlach . . .

Oh how we long for the geula shelayma (complete redemption), may it come speedily and with nachas! Oh how we look to Hashem to save us from our personal tsorus! Oh, how we appreciate that He saves us from destruction every day. The seventh blessing of the Amida - geula - contains all of these prayers. Say it with great kavannah (intention) kinderlach. B'ezras Hashem, may all of our tefillos bring the geula right away.

i Gemora Megillah 17b
ii Shibolei HaLeket as cited in Shaar HaRachamim
iii Maggid Tsedek, Eitz Yosef
iv Otzer Ha'Tefillos

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